Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Torn World - Defiance Games Strikes Again

Torn World announced today that the Torn Armor Kickstarter cannot be fulfilled due to Defiance Games ripping them off their money:

It was at this time that Defiance stated that they would not produce any masters until they had finished a batch of models. They then informed us that the file format we had provided them, their choice, wasn’t going to work. This new format was already a replacement of the original format they said wouldn’t work, which again was their choice. Soon after this they started talking about “going back to the models from last October” It was at this time I knew we were going into a downward spiral of excuses and finger pointing.
Ironically their chief responsibility was the creation of a usable, printable, castable 3d miniature models. Early on, they informed me they were unable to work with my artist/modeler and they in turn chose the artist/modeler they wanted to work with. The file format wasn’t going to work!
Clearly we have a serious problem.
Last Friday I concluded that Defiance was completely unable to fulfill our needs and that I made a mistake in choosing them. Being noble and generous I would say that they truly felt like they could handle it, but the reality of the project – in addition to their own projects – was too much. There may well be other reasons.
I formally asked for our money back less the approved and agreed charges and after a weekend of badgering they told me on Monday that “We do not have the available cash on hand to return these funds at this time” and “We are gearing up here for our own releases to get new product to market and improve our cash flow.” 
Link: Announcement on Kickstarter
Link: Torn World

To be fair, I add Defiance Games' response:
An open letter to Alyssa Faden of Torn Armor.
Did you really have to take so little responsibility and say that WE failed? After a nice paragraph in which you say you should take the blame, you write a long text blaming us. Wrong.
Basically, your figures were not produced because the digital files you provided do not work. Yet you try to shift responsibility for that to Defiance. Defiance DID NOT create the digital files. It was never our responsibility to do that. You should admit that, but you do not.
This is your project -- the only person responsible for the fact that Defiance never received workable files is ultimately you, Alyssa. The buck stops with you when it comes to Torn.
After the original files proved unworkable, the vendor you hired to fix them did not provide results which could be manufactured (Did you really want us to try and make a 20 mm resin figure in 5 parts???). Nothing that happened at Defiance, the 'changing of the guard' or the 'turbulent times' changes that.
You claim to have patience. Well, you are now choosing (it is a choice on your part) to close your project. Ultimately, this might still be a fixable problem. We have suggested possible solutions. You have decided not to do that. That is your decision and your responsibility. Do not blame anyone else for it.
I am really disappointed in you.
John Morse
 Link: Defiance Games on facebook


  1. Just in case somebody would ever consider again to give DG any money.

  2. Agreed.... I am waiting for the class action suit against that clown.

  3. Oh my... That is indeed bad. Such a nice project, theys don't deserve having to deal with Defiance Games...

    It is definitely time to shut this den of thieves down...

  4. I cannot convey just how angry this makes me... to ruin someone else's project, along with apparently doing a crappy job on your own...

  5. I'm clearly out of the loop. What was the first strike?

    1. The Proxie Models/Rust Forge Shipping Container affair. Google it for details.

  6. I too am disappointed with this news and encourage the Torn Armor team to keep struggling to get this game up off the ground.

    I backed it a substantial level and have a financial stake in this project; but more so than the financial stake I have, my young girls also participated in backing this game with some of their own money. They want to design and publish games, so I agreed to let them select a Kickstarter if they contributed $25 each of their own money (money earned in tips working at a private club event clearing tables at annual 'Lady’s Tea'). Torn Armor is an object lesson of the development process from idea to product. They have been following the updates and are very aware, even now of the events as they have transpired. I will say it was difficult for them to understand that Torn Armor may not happen and their investment is gone regardless if the Torn Armor is produced.

    The girls feel that Torn Armor should continue to work in producing the game and will support the development team by waiting. I also share that sentiment but add as an investor I would like the name of the person who suggested Defiance Games and Tony Reidy as a reasonable development team resource.

    Here are the comments I left on the Defiance Facebook page:
    I am so glad I stealth backed your kickstarter through Torn Armor.
    Thanks for teaching my girls a wonderful object lesson in amoral business practices. They were very excited, at 9 &10 to back Torn Armor a company they viewed as led by a strong woman. They wanted to watch a product move from idea to reality.

    They want design games and were very curious as to how the process functioned. So I agreed to let them select a Kickstarter and then we could track its development. They knew Alyssa Faden from other projects so they selected Torn Armor. Now you have taught them that sleaze exists at all levels of life. Even in the toy industry.

    They read the latest update in the Torn Armor kickstarter and cried.

    We can't wait to meet you all at the next con and thank you, in person, for the reality check.

    1. Got a daughter of mine own. Touched by this. And having a daughter of my own I know exactly what thanking them in person is going to look like. Good luck, brother!

    2. I hope it doesn't sound cynical but maybe there is at least a lesson in there for your girls: Be careful who you trust and make your contracts bulletproof.

      Maybe we will still se a different reincarnation of Torn Armor in the future.

      I was really looking forward to use the Light War Golem in Arena Rex :(

    3. As far as object lessons go this was excellent... I thought they were just going to learn about the length of the development curve and various aspects in game design. Instead they see how predatory the market place can be and that trust extended beyond an arms physical reach is tenuous at best.

      In many ways this experience for them emotionally like loosing a pet, because they had been tracking it and writing a short papers on what they witnessed in the development process. In short they had an 'attachment' to the project due in part to their age and in part due to my encouragement.

      I suppose at some point I hoped the game would become a vehicle of nostalgia for them to stumble across boxed up in basement years from, and would bring that flood of memories back long forgotten.

  7. Naturally we should see how the actual contract stuff works out, but I know where my suspicions lie on this one. Defiance screws over another batch of folks from where I'm sitting.

    Even if they'd be in the right here, then it would be a simple question of refunding the cash (naturally minus made costs and with realistic methods of refunding taken into account). This is effectively taking the cash and running with it under the guise of claiming the moral high ground. Mostty likely just to cover the giant financial gaps in the rest of their enterprise.

    Massively disappointed that there are people operating like this in the (war)gaming industry, particularly now that Defiance Games have a new CEO and largely a new team. Nothing has changed it would seem......

    1. My 2 cents:
      I guess the problem at hand is that DG already spent the money. Might have worked out fine, but now Torn Armor wants out because things are going nowhere and there is no money to reimburse them.

      Imho there are two ways to deal with this in a decent way: DG reimburses TA minus what they are owed for the work they did on their end, or DG actually produces the miniatures.

    2. Completely agree, though I have little hope of either option actually happening without legal action. Wish we'd know earlier about this, folks might have been able to warn to Torn Armor crew. Especially after all the bs after Defiance Games won Kickstarter!

  8. Well you know, no matter who's most at blame here, this is just another example of how the underground miniature market now usually works: A bunch of talented sculptors without any sense of marketing. It's pathetic really, but hey, I ALSO GOT ASPERGERS.

  9. It's easily summed up - everyone involved is in the wrong. As a 3d sculptor, the files aren't that hard to fix.

    Defiance screws up by accepting the money and spending it before the product is delivered to them for the next stage.

    Having said that, honestly, it all looked pretty... substandard to start with, so I can't say I'm surprised.


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